The latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter publication, curated by the finest galactic scribes, gives a beta release date of 20 May for the 1.3 ‘Powerplay’ update.

Elite: Dangerous betas are a little different from the usual “open call for beta players” system you tend to see on PC. Lifetime beta access was one of things it was possible to acquire as a Kickstarter backer. ‘Premium’ beta access may also have been sold through the game’s store for a while too, though I don’t fully recall the details there.

Post-release, there isn’t really a way to get into the betas. This means the majority of players will be waiting until the beta’s conclusion and the full release of 1.3.

Edit: Reader ‘MrBlueMan001’ helpfully informs us that these betas have so far all lasted one week, which would put the final 1.3 release on 27 May. Good info, thanks!

Until such time, you can at least have a look at this map of the Powerplay galaxy.

elite: dangerous powerplay

In addition to that beta date, there’s a short developer post about policies for identifying and punishing cheats in Elite: Dangerous. Michael Brooke’s post suggests Frontier use a combination of player reports and their own systemic tools to determine whether someone has been up to dodgy deeds.

If the investigation turns up “account trading, client hacking, bug exploits and player harassment or abuse,” then the guilty party may get a warning. If the issue is more serious, Frontier skip the warning and proceed either to a shadow ban (where the player is still playing Elite: Dangerous on the same server, but isolated from the main galaxy simulation and bulk of the players,) or a permanent ban.

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